|Publication number||US7172295 B2|
|Application number||US 10/842,898|
|Publication date||6 Feb 2007|
|Filing date||10 May 2004|
|Priority date||10 May 2004|
|Also published as||CN2884257Y, CN101006489A, CN101006489B, DE202005007409U1, US20050248737, WO2005111977A1|
|Publication number||10842898, 842898, US 7172295 B2, US 7172295B2, US-B2-7172295, US7172295 B2, US7172295B2|
|Inventors||T. Scott Engle|
|Original Assignee||Infocus Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (15), Classifications (12), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to projection systems and more particularly to projection utilizing light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Projection systems have been used for many years to project motion pictures and still photographs onto screens for viewing. More recently, presentations using projection systems have become popular for conducting sales demonstrations, business meetings, and classroom instruction.
In a common operating mode, projection systems receive video signals from a device such as a personal computer (PC), a digital video disk (DVD) player or other device capable of producing video signals. The video signals may represent still, partial-motion, or full-motion images of a type rendered by the device.
In prior art projection systems, typically a high intensity light source is employed to provide illumination. The illumination is then operated on by projection optics to reproduce the still, partial-motion, or full-motion images. The projection optics operate on the illumination in various ways. This typically includes the video signals controlling parts of the projection optics such as digitally driven image-forming devices, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) or a digital micromirror device (DMD).
Embodiments of the present invention will be described by way of the accompanying drawings in which like references denote similar elements, and in which:
In the following description, various aspects of embodiments of the present invention will be described. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other embodiments may be practiced with only some or all of the described aspects. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that other embodiments may be practiced without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the description.
Various operations will be described as multiple discrete operations in turn, in a manner that is most helpful in understanding the embodiments, however, the order of description should not be construed as to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. In particular, these operations need not be performed in the order of presentation.
The phrase “in one embodiment” is used repeatedly. The phrase generally , does not refer to the same embodiment, however, it may. The terms “comprising”, “having” and “including” are synonymous, unless the context dictates otherwise.
The determination by the controller 270 regarding the modifications to be made to the power provided to one or more of the LED light sources 210 may be based on desired light output levels provided by one or more sources. In one embodiment, controller 270 has access to desired light output levels for the LED light sources 210 via stored information in storage devices 290. In one embodiment the storage device is a ROM and the information on the desired light output levels is fixed at manufacturing time. In another embodiment the storage device is a non-volatile storage device. In this embodiment, default values are stored at manufacturing time. However, the user may provide, via one or more I/O devices 275 such as a touch LCD screen, updated information on the desired light output levels for the LED light sources. The updated information may be stored in a non volatile storage device. Non volatile storage device may include devices such as EEPROMs, Flash memory, non volatile RAM and Compact Disk Read/Write.
In various other embodiments, other techniques may be utilized to measure the light output of the LED sources. For example, in one embodiment, stray light is utilized to obtain an indication of the light output from LED sources. Stray light is light that would otherwise not be used in the projection of an image. For example, when core light goes through optics some of the light disperses and is unusable. This dispersed light may be utilized to measure the light output from the LED sources. In another embodiment, one or more photo optic light pipes are placed in the illumination path that read a consistent amount of light. These light pipes may then provide information to a controller on the light output corresponding to one or more of the LEDs. The measurement of light output may involve the measurement of one of a number of photonic metrics. Examples of photonic metrics include lumens, candellas and footcandels, and luminance.
In the embodiment illustrated in
The detected light information from the three photo detectors 360 is sent to the controller 380 as electrical information. The controller 380 analyzes the detected light information of the photo detectors 360. Based at least in part upon this detected light information, the controller 380 determines whether to send updated control information to power supply 390 to modify the power delivered to one or more of the LED light sources 310.
The light collected by the photo detectors 360 may be in direct proportion to the overall intensity of the LED light output. In such a case, the feedback signals generated by the photo detectors 360 may also be directly proportional to the LED light output. The controller 380 may utilize the feedback signals to compare the intensity or brightness of the LED light output to a threshold (e.g. desired) level corresponding to a desired intensity level. This desired level may be stored in memory, such as RAM or ROM, which may be accessed by the controller 380. If the intensity of the measured LED light output is greater or less than the desired level, the controller 380 may provide information to the power supply 390 that adjusts power to the LED light sources 310. This adjustment may be performed to bring the LED light output to the desired level.
In another embodiment, the controller may monitor the light output to determine if the measured light output is within a range of measurements. The controller 380 acts as a comparator that compares the feedback signals to upper and lower threshold values representing acceptable upper and lower brightness levels which have been provided to the controller 380. For example, each component in the illumination optical path has an efficiency with which it transfers the light generated by the LED light sources 310. Once the optical components are assembled, the system has an overall efficiency that may be generally constant at each location in the optical path. A nominal efficiency of the system may be determined by known analytical methods. Furthermore, known analytical methods may be used to determine the variation range of the brightness of the light generated by the LED light sources 310. This result may be combined with the nominal efficiency of the system to determine an acceptable range of brightness levels. The controller 380 compares the magnitude of the feedback signal generated by the photo detectors 360 with upper and lower brightness range values. These upper and lower brightness range values may be expected signal values corresponding to the acceptable range of brightness levels. The comparison is performed to determine the brightness level of the light output from the LED light sources 310. If the magnitude of the feedback signal falls outside of the acceptable brightness range values the controller 380 adjusts the voltage delivered from the power supply 390 to the LED light sources 310 until the magnitude of the feedback signal falls within the acceptable brightness range values.
The desired signal levels associated with the measured light output can be set by creating an electrical circuit to generate a desired output for comparison based on the aforementioned analytical methods or by basing it on empirical methods. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the desired signal levels can be set based on user input through a user interface and stored in the system electronics such as a RAM or non-volatile memory. Alternatively, the desired signal levels may be provided through a networking interface 385. With a networking interface, the desired signal levels may be provided remotely by a technician. For example, the desired signal levels may be utilized remotely to diagnose a problem associated with the projection system. In another embodiment, the desired signal levels may be provided periodically by a customer support center. This may, for example, provide optimum values for maximizing LED life.
In one embodiment, a method of achieving brightness control is to use the feedback signal from the photo detectors to adjust the current provided to the LED light sources 310. However, other methods could be used. For example, instead of adjusting the power to the LED light sources 310 the feedback signal could be used to control other components such as, for example, the light valve. If the LED light output is too high, the light valve can be closed for a longer portion of the display dwell time, sending more of the light to the “dump” location instead of to the lens. Alternatively, if the LED light output is too low the light valve can be opened for a longer portion of the display dwell time sending more of the light to the display screen instead of the “dump” location.
As previously discussed, the use of photo detectors 360 creates feedback directed to the controller 380. Feedback assists in forming a closed loop system to facilitate adjustments to the LED light sources 310 or other system components in order to automatically maintain a desired illumination output. Another use of the closed loop feedback system may be for automatic color correction. In one embodiment, the closed loop system may be operated in a manner to use the feedback signals generated by the photo detectors 360 to automatically adjust the power to the LED light sources 310 to maintain a desired light output level for each of the LED light sources 310.
Typically systems are designed to provide a light source that provides “white” light at a particular “white point” or “color temperature”. Thus, when a projection device leaves a factory, the light source, e.g. the LED light sources together, will produce light at a particular color temperature. Over time the light source may see its color temperature change. In the case of a system having a number of LED light sources 310, this change in color temperature may be due to one of the LED light sources 310 changing its light output at a different rate compared to one or more of the other LED light sources 310.
In one embodiment of the present invention, the relative output of the LED light sources can be measured. In this manner, the light produced by each of the LED light sources may be compared to measurements corresponding to each LED light source. From these measurements a determination may made about a desired change in output of the individual LED light sources. From this determination, the power delivered to individual LED light sources may be modified to increase the respective LED light source's light output.
For example, referring again to
In various embodiments, sampling and analysis of the detected light information may be performed at various times. For example, the sampling of the detected light information may occur at periodic intervals. The analysis of this information may be on each sample or it may be performed occasionally with the values being averaged over a period of time. The sampling may be performed in a manner that provides for consistent measurements from one sample to the next. To effectuate such a sampling, in one embodiment, the DMD 330 is turned to full black during the sampling period. That is, during the sampling period, the DMD 330 is operated such that substantially all light is dumped to the dump area. Thus, substantially all of the light incident on the DMD 330 is directed to the photo detectors 360. This ensures that the magnitude of the signal generated by the photo detectors 360 is not affected by the number of pixels or mirrors of the DMD 330 being on or off.
The sampling period may vary depending upon the implementation. For example, in an embodiment utilizing a DMD 330, a portion of a frame may be spent dumping the light to the dump area. In such a case, a frame of data is received from a data source 395. During a first portion of the data frame, the data received from the data source 395 is utilized by the controller 380 to drive DMD 330 to produce an image to be projected through lens 340. During a second portion of the frame, the DMD 330 is driven by the controller 380 to dump light to the dump area. In another embodiment, operations in the first and second portions of the frame are similar. However, in a third portion of the data frame, the controller 380 utilizes the data received from the data source to drive DMD 330 to again produce an image to be projected through lens 340.
Thus, it can be seen from the above description, methods for controlling light output of LED light sources and projection systems so equipped have been described. While the present invention has been described in terms of the foregoing embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described. Other embodiments may be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Accordingly, the description is to be regarded as illustrative instead of restrictive.
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|U.S. Classification||353/85, 353/122, 353/99|
|International Classification||G03B21/14, G09G3/34, G03B21/00, G03B21/20, H04N5/74, G05D25/02, G03B21/28|
|10 May 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INFOCUS CORPORATION, OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ENGLE, T. SCOTT;REEL/FRAME:015321/0551
Effective date: 20040507
|19 Nov 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RPX CORPORATION,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INFOCUS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:023538/0709
Effective date: 20091019
Owner name: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION,JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RPX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:023538/0889
Effective date: 20091026
|8 Jul 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|9 Jul 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8